By MC Slim JB | The Improper Bostonian
The restaurant business is never easy, but lately Boston appears to be going out of its way to make it harder for independent operators. Would-be chef/owners face a stack of challenges in the city: Too many restaurants chasing too few patrons, punishing rents and liquor license costs, not to mention ubiquitous national chains with bigger marketing and hiring budgets. When The Improper reviews a restaurant in Newton or Waltham, it’s inevitably because some rising talent weighed the cost of doing business in the city and fled for a sweeter deal in the suburbs. We imagine that’s the calculus that Mrs. and Mr. Sargent (general manager Nancy and chef Matt, both formerly of Waltham’s Brewer’s Tap & Table) made when they chose a spot on the Watertown/Belmont line to open Country Mile, their charming new neighborhood joint.
Their menu formula is a familiar one with some twists: seasonal, locally sourced New American with a few globe-trotting fillips, a dozen small plates sized liked generous appetizers and served as they are ready. Two dishes per person and maybe a shared plate of charcuterie, cheese or dessert will suffice most customers. Nothing complicated or surprising, right? Except the kitchen comes roaring out of the blocks with its half-dozen vegetable dishes, each of which features an odd-looking boutique vegetable and an intricate, marvelous balance of flavors (earthy, bitter, tangy, sweet) and textures (crisp, tender, crunchy, creamy).
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